Today is a day that our family has celebrated for the past four years. Tomorrow will be the day when my kids and husband do their best to make me feel loved and appreciated, and, I’m not gonna lie, I look forward to it every year. But today, we try to focus on someone else. Today is Birthmother’s Day. It’s the day when families who have been blessed by adoption remember the woman who gave their child life. So, in honor of that, even though it is likely she will never read this, I’d like to write something to her.
Today I went to Field Day at his school. He was sweaty, smiling, snaggletoothed, and covered in red popsicle juice. It was the stuff childhood memories are made of, and I thought about you. I know you think about him, what he is doing now, and how he is. You must wish that you were here for these moments and grieve the circumstances that led me to stand here instead of you. I grieve for them too. I love him and I’m so glad he’s a part of our family, but someone once told that me that adoption is beauty from ashes, and that is wholly true. God is building a beautiful life and family for him, but I know that did not come about without immense pain.
Adoption stories come in all shapes and sizes. Some are mothers placing their children with another family to give them a better life, some are mothers who cannot parent well right now and the decision is made for them, and there are so many stories in between. You and I don’t know each other. I know about you and you have probably heard some vague things about me, but I can’t imagine knowing my child was placed with a family that I knew nothing about. And yet, you move forward each day, trying to make yourself better. I know you still struggle and I know you feel guilt; your family has shared that with me. I pray for you constantly and I want you to know we only say honoring and kind things about you in our home. Your son knows your name. And he knows you loved him and couldn’t take care of him. We will always show you respect, because you are the reason he has life. That alone makes you special and worthy of holding a place of honor in our home. Even though we can’t be with you for this day, you should know that you are his first mom and an important person in our home. We hope for beautiful things for your life and we are so thankful that a part of your life is shared with us.
Today there will be memes popping up on Facebook feeds with a quote from Jody Landers that says, “A child born to another woman calls me mom. The magnitude of that tragedy, and the depth of that privilege, are not lost on me.” Amen and Amen. That one sentence says so much about adoption in general. Today I remember the tragedy that it is when a mother cannot parent her own child and the privilege it is to be the mom who stands in her place. I am humbled by the privilege I have of being his mom, and I promise to do my very best for him and to love him deeply. God is redeeming this situation, but redemption does not happen without brokenness. As we both work to mend broken hearts and lives, I pray God would meet you where you are and give you comfort and peace. You are loved and I hope you are celebrated today. Happy Birthmother’s Day.
All the love.